I've been trying to keep up with the many reactions to the school tragedy in Parkland, Florida. The national response has created many discussions and possibly some changes in state and federal laws. As policy makers continue their discussions, schools have been dealing with increased threats of violence, often by students who claim to be 'joking'. I thought this article by the KSB Law Firm in Nebraska was worth sharing to address this topic. (KSB Blog)
Feel free to call or contact the Chadron High School office if you have questions or concerns.
Threats of School Shootings at your SchoolNebraska’s terroristic threats law prohibits any person from:
“threatening to commit a crime of violence” with the intent to terrorize another or cause the evacuation of building, place of assembly, or facility of public transportation. More importantly, the law also prohibits making such a threat with a “reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or evacuation.”
Neb. Rev. Stat. §28-311.01. That means that is is not a legal defense for students to say they were just joking or that the threats were not serious. Unfortunately, Nebraska schools have faced dozens of these threats since the Parkland shooting. As we tell students and parents all the time, administrators have an obligation to report these as crimes regardless of whether the administrators believe the threat is serious. We encourage all schools to communicate with students and parents that any threat will be reported to law enforcement and will lead to disciplinary consequences.We are also urging school administrators to quickly communicate with your community when these threats are received. Social media means that stories about alleged threats spread immediately -- and the threats are often magnified in the retelling. We think it is prudent to tell families immediately when there is any threat and to assure them that law enforcement has investigated and that there is no imminent threat to students.